The Biology of Breast Milk

This episode aims to be the most comprehensive compendium on the biology of breast milk ever recorded. Looking at the converging clinical and animal evidence of the impact of breast milk paints a complex and beautiful mosaic of developmentally supportive effects that range from allowing the mother to act as a “compensatory” immune system to possibly supporting the development of entire organ systems through the integration of maternal stem cells found in breast milk.

Episode Highlights

  • 00:07:11 - Breast milk composition and production
  • 00:09:59 - Human milk oligosaccharides in breast milk establish the infant gut microbiome
  • 00:15:48 - Omega-3 fatty acids and other components in breast milk boost brain development
  • 00:18:14 - Vitamins and minerals in breast milk
  • 00:22:05 - Breast milk stem cells and multi-organ microchimerism
  • 00:22:54 - Harmful substances transferred to infant via breast milk
  • 00:28:03 - The effects of breastfeeding on the infant's immune system
  • 00:31:17 - Effects on intelligence
  • 00:34:36 - Breastfeeding as a benefit to maternal health

Get our detailed summary, timeline, references and more on the FoundMyFitness episode page.

Breastmilk and breast feeding is now a dedicated Topic section on the website. View that article by clicking here.

Did you enjoy this episode? If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out a preview of our very first Aliquot episode: Aliquot #001: Pregnancy & Child Development. It features a compilation of pregnancy and child development-related topics taken from several Q&A episodes over the last couple of years.